Bernie’s Socialized Health Care Divides Hapless Democrats

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Sentiment in the Democratic Party seems to be moving ever more strongly in favor of the push by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for single-payer, socialized medicine – but analysts are saying the stampede could be a lemming-like rush to political death, and some Senate Democrats are trying to avoid the cliff.

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Bernie Sanders/Photo by ScottP-Photography (CC)

At The Morning Beacon, conservative columnist Matthew Continetti notes that 16 Democratic senators already have joined as co-sponsors of Sanders’s “Medicare for All Act of 2017,” which would create a completely government-run, “one-size-fits-all” medical system for the whole country. He then collected warnings even from hard-line liberal analysts about how their push for socialized medicine could blow up in their political faces.

The Urban Institute concluded that Sanders’s similar plan last year would cost a mind-boggling $32 trillion – yes, trillion – during the next decade, with taxes rising by $15 trillion and the debt therefore growing by another $17 trillion. (The costs for health-care alone would thus nearly double today’s $20 trillion debt, without taking into account a single dime of other federal spending.)

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As Continetti noted, “The experiences of Vermont, whose single-payer system collapsed several years ago, and of California and New Jersey, whose true-blue legislatures can’t carry single payer across the finish line, and of Colorado, which voted overwhelmingly against a similar plan last year, suggest the tax increases necessary to sustain expanded coverage frighten even Democrats.”

The conservative America Rising Political Action Committee also stresses that theme:

“One group of Democratic Senators that won’t be well-represented on the list of co-sponsors are those Democrats running in states Hillary Clinton lost last year. Already Senators Joe ManchinSherrod BrownBill NelsonClaire McCaskill, and Bob Casey are doing everything possible to disassociate themselves from Bernie’s extreme bill. Additionally, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who would one day like to be Majority Leader, has soured on Bernie’s single-payer ambitions. The reason is simple: Those Senators know that a bill that promises to raise taxes by trillions is deadly to their political futures.”

(It should be noted that Manchin has tried to play both sides, first expressing support for Sanders’s approach but then “clarifying” that he is “skeptical” of it.)

And: “[NBC’s] Chuck Todd pointed out that the main thing Senator Sanders’s single-payer effort is accomplishing is ‘driving a big wedge between the progressive left and the moderate left.’ That’s very true, and it’s red state Democrats who are paying the price.”

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‘Progressive’ groups, though, are moving full-steam ahead. A group called Patriotic Millionaires, which describes itself as “revolutionary,” is utterly disdainful of “the market,” and is dedicated to having the government (somewhat magically) “mandate a livable wage,” proudly joined Sanders when he announced his plan.

Leftist former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, most recently known for peddling conspiracy theories about right-wing speakers supposedly “in cahoots with” the very people rioting against them, enthusiastically backs Sanders, too. He wrote that Canada’s socialized-medical system is superior to the United States’ – even though he admits: “True, Canadians typically wait longer to consult specialists and get non-emergency surgery than we do.”

Of course, what Canada defines as “non-emergency” includes many treatments Americans consider “medically necessary,” with neurosurgery up North (for example) taking an average of nearly a year to get scheduled.

President Trump did praise Canada’s system in an early Republican debate, but now has made clear that he will oppose Sanders’s socialized system with every power he has. He said the plan would be a “curse on the U.S. and its people,” and vowed to veto it immediately in the unlikely event such a bill actually reaches his desk.